The current incarnation of the GOP is not your father’s Republican Party. These people are not fiscally responsible, and certainly not conservative. They’re really not that bright when it comes to economics. For some reason, they have convinced themselves that low wages are necessary for most companies to survive, and that is just insane. If it’s necessary to survive, then consider the example of Costco. They makes a higher profit per store than Walmart, and have for many years. Here’s another: the Washington, DC City Council proposed a minimum wage of $12.50 last year, and Walmart killed plans for three stores. There was no mass exodus of companies from the District; just Walmart. (By the way, they settled on $11.50, and there is still no mass exodus.) If low wages are so necessary to compete, why do so few companies pay the minimum wage? Fewer than 15 percent of all workers make less than $10 per hour, and small businesses that pay the minimum wage or less are actually at higher risk of failure. Most companies that pay at or around minimum wage are in the discount retail and fast food industries. Yet supermarket chains, which have a much higher union membership and pay higher wages against a much tighter profit margin, seem to do quite well.
There is no semblance of any re branding at the GOP
She’s a young, black, Harvard-educated Miss America. So why don’t the Republicans want her to run?
“One thing after another,” lamented Doug Ibendahl, a Chicago attorney and former state GOP general counsel who considers Harold a “top notch” candidate. “There are people in the Republican Party who are actively working against her who shouldn’t be.”
It does seem odd. Harold would appear to be exactly the kind of candidate the GOP needs: Miss America 2003. A speaker at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Harvard Law School grad. A practicing attorney interested in the Constitution. She is just 33 years old, close enough to count as one of the coveted “millennial” voters herself. The product of a mixed-race marriage—her father is white, her mother is African-American—Harold has a background that recalls that of another Illinois politician, a guy who went on to hold a pretty lofty office himself.
“Just look at me,” Harold told the crowd of about 30 in the library basement, most of them older and white as she made her pitch for why they should unseat a freshman Republican congressman in this year’s March primary in favor of her. “I am definitely not the stereotypical Republican.”
Harold’s appeal is built on “the optics, the experience, the resume.” That’s according to her dad—who is also her campaign manager. “The party knows it has to broaden its base,” Bob Harold said, “and who better to do that?”
There’s one main rule at the conservative donor conclaves held twice a year by Charles and David Koch at luxury resorts: What happens there stays there.
The billionaire industrialists and their political operatives strive to ensure the anonymity of the wealthy conservatives who fund their sprawling political operation—which funneled more than $400 million into the 2012 elections—and to keep their plans private. Attendees of these summits are warned that the seminars, where the Kochs and their allies hatch strategies for electing Republicans and advancing conservative initiatives on the state and national levels, are strictly confidential; they are cautioned to keep a close eye on their meeting notes and materials. But last week, following the Kochs’ first donor gathering of 2014, one attendee left behind a sensitive document at the Renaissance Esmeralda resort outside of Palm Springs, California, where the Kochs and their comrades had spent three days focused on winning the 2014 midterm elections and more. The document lists VIP donors—including John Schnatter, the founder of the Papa John’s pizza chain—who were scheduled for one-on-one meetings with representatives of the political, corporate, and philanthropic wings of Kochworld. The one-page document, provided to Mother Jones by a hotel guest who discovered it, offers a fascinating glimpse into the Kochs’ political machine and shows how closely intertwined it is with Koch Industries, their $115 billion conglomerate.
The more than 40 donors courted by the Kochs include hedge fund and private-equity billionaires, real estate tycoons, and executives of top corporations, including Jockey International and TRT Holdings, owner of Omni Hotels and Gold’s Gym. A number of them have never been identified as members of the Koch donor network, including Schnatter, one of the more prominent names on the list. An outspoken opponent of the Affordable Care Act, he is a longtime Republican donor who hosted a fundraiser for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. The document notes that the pizza mogul was scheduled to meet with Ryan Stowers, the director of higher education at the Charles G. Koch Foundation. (Schnatter did not respond to requests for comment.)
Out of the Republican retreat on Maryland’s Eastern shore comes word that the House leadership is raising the white flag of surrender on immigration.
The GOP will agree to halt the deportation of 12 million illegal aliens, and sign on to a blanket amnesty. It only asks that the 12 million not be put on a path to citizenship.
Sorry, but losers do not dictate terms. Rich Trumka of the AFL-CIO says amnesty is no longer enough. Illegal aliens must be put on a path to citizenship and given green cards to work — and join unions.
Rep. Paul Ryan and the Wall Street Journal are for throwing in the towel. Legalize them all and start them on the path to citizenship.
A full and final capitulation. Let’s get it over with.
At the Cold War’s end, the GOP reached a fork in the road. The determination of Middle Americans to preserve the country they grew up in, suddenly collided with the profit motive of Corporate America.
The Fortune 500 wanted to close factories in the USA and ship production abroad — where unions did not exist, regulations were light, taxes were low, and wages were a fraction of what they were here in America.
Corporate America was going global and wanted to be rid of its American work force, the best paid on earth, and replace it with cheap foreign labor.
While manufacturing sought to move production abroad, hotels, motels, bars, restaurants, farms and construction companies that could not move abroad also wanted to replace their expensive American workers.
Thanks to the Republican Party, Corporate America got it all.
The Republican party’s congressional delegations went on “retreat” this year in order to produce plan-like products that allegedly will address the nation’s problems. Now that the crayons all have been put away, and nap time is over, the party has produced a plan-like product with “Immigration” written in big red letters across the top of the first page, one that has absolutely no chance of passage and also will get many people in the party throwing rocks at each other.
House Republican leaders, insistent that their party embrace a message that goes beyond criticizing Mr. Obama, tried to find an agenda that would give their candidates a campaign message that did not disrupt the political progress the party has made as the president’s approval ratings have slipped. “We’re in the process of laying out the things that unify us,” said Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, leader of the conservative Republican Study Committee.
I can help you out there, Representative Steve. These are the things that unify your party — an undying hatred of the current president, a thoroughgoing contempt for the people who elected him (twice!), and a profound refusal to allow the national government to function as long as the current president is in office. Anything that smacks of accomplishment as long as the current president is president is dead before it ever lives. For example, the piece of paper with “Immigration” written across the top in big red letters? It’s about having a plan, not creating a policy.
Other members looked for middle ground. Representative Patrick T. McHenry, Republican of North Carolina, said his party should unify around principles for reform, but he and others expressed grave doubts that the House could or should go further. “Unifying behind principles would be a very useful thing,” Mr. McHenry said. As for legislation, he added, “It’s very debatable about whether we do it now or later.”
Can you understand what the fk that means? Even I, who speaks fluent wingnut, can’t parse anything out of it except, “Not while the Usurper sits in the White House.” But the point is not to do something. The point is to have big pieces of paper to wave the next time someone accuses this worthless, do-nothing Congress of being worthless and doing nothing.
Buzzfeed’s John Stanton today managed to get Republican lawmakers on record admitting that the movement to stop immigration report is at least party driven by racial animosity. One Southern Republican member of Congress, who requested anonymity, told Stanton outright that “part of it…it’s racial.” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham put it a little more delicately, referring to “ugliness around the issue of immigration.”
While it’s unusual to have Republican members of Congress saying it aloud, it’s hardly a secret that today’s anti-immigrant movement was built by xenophobia and remains in a large part driven by it.
Overtly racist remarks by members of Congress like Steve King and Don Young or by fringe nativists like William Gheen or Judson Phillips could be written off as distractions if they were not part and parcel of this larger movement.
In a column claiming the Republican Party immigration plan is an act of political suicide, Ann Coulter blares the air raid siren:
As House Republicans prepare to sell out the country on immigration this week, Phyllis Schlafly has produced a stunning report on how immigration is changing the country. The report is still embargoed, but someone slipped me a copy, and it’s too important to wait.
Citing surveys from the Pew Research Center, the Pew Hispanic Center, Gallup, NBC News, Harris polling, the Annenberg Policy Center, Latino Decisions, the Center for Immigration Studies and the Hudson Institute, Schlafly’s report overwhelmingly demonstrates that merely continuing our current immigration policies spells doom for the Republican Party.
Immigrants — all immigrants — have always been the bulwark of the Democratic Party. For one thing, recent arrivals tend to be poor and in need of government assistance. Also, they’re coming from societies that are far more left-wing than our own. History shows that, rather than fleeing those policies, they bring their cultures with them. (Look at what New Yorkers did to Vermont.)
This is not a secret. For at least a century, there’s never been a period when a majority of immigrants weren’t Democrats.
Thanks to endless polling, we have a pretty good idea of what most immigrants believe.
According to a Harris poll, 81 percent of native-born citizens think the schools should teach students to be proud of being American. Only 50 percent of naturalized U.S. citizens do.
While 67 percent of native-born Americans believe our Constitution is a higher legal authority than international law, only 37 percent of naturalized citizens agree.
No wonder they vote 2-1 for the Democrats.
How are Republicans going to square that circle? It’s not their position on amnesty that immigrants don’t like; it’s Republicans’ support for small government, gun rights, patriotism, the Constitution and capitalism.
It would be one thing if the people with these views already lived here. Republicans would have no right to say, “You can’t vote.” But why on Earth are they bringing in people sworn to
their political(our) destruction? (Fixed another one for you, Ann).
Sorry, Americans. You lose.
Notice how Ann cites polling from Phyllis Schlafly, who last year voiced similar concerns, and urged the Republican Party to abandon any outreach to people of color, and Latinos in particular, and focus on more white voters:
But in an interview this week with conservative radio program Focus Today, Schlafly just came right out and said it. Calling the GOP’s need to reach out to Latinos a “great myth,” Schlafly said that “the people the Republicans should reach out to are the white votes, the white voters who didn’t vote in the last election.” Schlafly accused the Republican “establishment” of nominating “a series of losers…who don’t connect with the grassroots.”
“The propagandists are leading us down the wrong path,” she said. “There’s not any evidence at all that these Hispanics coming in from Mexico will vote Republican.”
Florida, where only one person has been shot to death for texting at the movies so just shut up, liberal scum, is trying to decide how to make itself safer so Sean Hannity will feel more comfortable moving down there to kill bonefish. Luckily, the National Rifle Association is there to help.
The current bill would amend the state’s expansive Stand Your Ground law-which permits residents to use deadly force in numerous circumstances-so that it also allows the nebulous “threatened use of force.” In effect, it means that gun owners could walk free for brandishing their gun in a threatening manner or firing a shot indiscriminately to “warn” a potential assailant. That also means gun owners would get blanket immunity from the state’s “10-20-life” law, which mandates an automatic 10-year sentence for anyone accused of flashing or using a gun in the commission of a felony. Numerous Florida politicians, including Jeb Bush, have long credited that measure with significantly decreasing the state’s gun crimes.
It is occasionally mentioned here that the Republican party is terribly afflicted with a prion disease that has eaten away the party’s higher functions and driven the party mad. Short-term memory is the first thing to go.